DIY Custom iPhone Ringtone: Create, Set and Use a Custom iPhone Ringtone (No Jailbreak required)

It’s 2018, last year Apple has introduced a next generation iPhone – the iPhone X – which is totally different from the past 10-years iPhone ever released before it. It comes full of screen and without home button. But then as of today, creating iPhone ringtone has never really improved since Apple introduced iPhone to this world 10 years back.

Ever wonder what’s the reason?

DRM and bunch of other security and legal reasons.

Since I, myself, find it super hassle to create a custom ringtone, thus I would like to publish it here, so at least the next time I need to convert and create custom ringtone for iPhone, I don’t need to jump between websites to gather the complete information on how to create a custom ringtone for my iPhone. If any Android users read this article, yes you guys can pity me and the rest iPhone users for having such complicated way just to create something basic: custom ringtone for the phone.

Tools required to create custom iPhone ringtone.

1. Computer with iTunes installed (PC or Mac).
2. Song you want to make it as your ringtone (preferably MP3 file).
3. And of course, the iPhone.

Let’s get started.

Creating custom iPhone ringtone boils down into these 7 steps. Sorry, currently there’s no one button do-it-all.
All the steps below is done on iTunes 12 and iPhone with iOS 11. For other generation of iTunes or other version of iOS, the steps might be slightly different but overall they are more or less the same.
1. Open the song on iTunes and trim the song to be max 30 seconds-long.
create custom iPhone Ringtone trim the song
Create custom iPhone Ringtone: Trim the song
On iTunes, do right click on the song you wish to use as the ringtone then select Song Info.
create custom iPhone Ringtone 30 second song
Create custom iPhone Ringtone: Trim to max 30 second long

On the Song window, go to Options, and adjust the start and stop to be max 30-second-long. Less than 30-second is fine.

2. Convert the 30 second-long song to AAC format
create custom iPhone Ringtone convert into AAC
Create custom iPhone Ringtone: Convert into AAC
On iTunes, go to File > Convert > Create AAC version.

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3. Locate and rename the file to .m4r

create custom iPhone Ringtone show in explorer
Create custom iPhone Ringtone: Show in Windows Explorer (Windows) / Finder (Mac OS)
On iTunes, select the 30-second long song, do right click on it  > Show in Windows Explorer (Windows) or Show in Finder (Mac OS).
create custom iPhone Ringtone rename to m4r
Create custom iPhone Ringtone: Rename song to m4r
On the Windows explorer / Finder, rename the file to .m4r. m4r is the iPhone ringtone file.
4. Drag and drop m4r file to iTunes library. Make sure it appears on your iTunes Library.
5. Plug the iPhone, wait until it appears on iTunes. Stop the sync process if it does sync automatically since sync is not needed at this moment.
6. Drag and drop the ringtone from iTunes Library to the iPhone inside the iTunes screen.
7. Now press that Sync button on bottom right at iTunes screen to sync the m4r ringtone file to the iPhone.
Wait until it syncs completely. Once sync is completed, do check the iPhone if the custom ringtone is sync to the device.

Here’s how to check and set the custom ringtone on iPhone:

(Guide here is provided based on iOS 11. On other version of iOS, the steps to check should be more or less the same)
1. Go to Settings > Sounds & Haptics.
2. Under Sounds and Vibration Patterns, locate Ringtone, tap on it.
create custom iPhone Ringtone select custom ringtone
Create custom iPhone Ringtone: Select custom ringtone on iPhone Settings
3. Your custom ringtones should be the first one in the row to appear.
4. Select the custom ringtone and then it’s done. Now each time your iPhone rings, it will play your custom ringtone.

Custom iPhone Ringtone Done!

At this point, if you are following the step by step, now you should have a quite distinctive ringtone from the rest of iPhone users.

Let me know if you have issues during one of the steps. I’ll be glad to help. Do comment your issues down below on comment section. Cheers!

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